The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring January as Mentoring Month to coincide with statewide and nationwide efforts during the 13th annual National Mentoring Month campaign.
This proclamation recognizes the fact that Fighting Back, a program of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, provides quality mentoring, connecting mentors to at-risk youngsters and cultivating relationships that provide crucial support and guidance.
A resolution presented to CADA acknowledges Fighting Back’s 20-year history and success providing a school-based mentor program that has positively impacted the lives of thousands of local youths and their adult mentors.
The Fighting Back Mentor Program is a one-year minimum commitment that matches adult mentors with vulnerable “at-risk” youth. In 2013, 139 youth were supported with more than 7,000 hours of one-on-one mentoring in the South Coast region. In many cases, these matches have lasted for years and are the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Currently there are more than 80 kids on a list awaiting mentors.
District Attorney, Joyce Dudley is an advocate of the Mentor Program, calling the one-on-one relationship “the most effective way to fight crime and nurture a life of hope and success for a youngster,” and is also waiting to become a mentor herself. Dudley recently completed the mentor paperwork and training, and says she is thrilled to meet her mentee next month.
In resolving January as Mentoring Month, the supervisors encourage residents of Santa Barbara County to participate and support the expansion of mentoring services to all youth in need.
For more information on supporting Fighting Back’s Mentoring program or to volunteer as a mentor, call the CADA office at 805.963.1433 or click here.
— Catherine Remak represents CADA.